Neurology News

Scientists Show How Synapses Are Arranged with Respect to Each Other

July 19, 2016

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How Synapses Are Arranged with Respect to Each Other

For the first time, neurobiologists show that contact points between specific neuron types are clustered in groups on the target neuron. The cerebral cortex resembles a vast switchboard. Countless lines carrying information about the environment, for example from the sensory organs, converge in the cerebral cortex. In order to direct the flow of data into […]

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New Equation Shows How Other People’s Fortunes Affect Our Happiness

June 17, 2016

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How Other People's Fortunes Affect Our Happiness

A new equation shows how our happiness depends not only on what happens to us and how this compares to other people.The team developed an equation to predict happiness in 2014, highlighting the importance of expectations, and the new updated equation also takes into account other people’s fortunes. The study, published in Nature Communications, found […]

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Bird Brains Have Significantly More Neurons Than Primate Brains Of The Same Mass

June 14, 2016

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Birds Have Primate-Like Numbers of Neurons in the Forebrain

A new study systematically measures the number of neurons in the brains of birds, revealing that they have significantly more neurons packed into their small brains than are stuffed into mammalian and even primate brains of the same mass. The macaw has a brain the size of an unshelled walnut, while the macaque monkey has […]

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New Study Shows Fructose Alters Brain Genes, Which Can Lead to Disease

April 25, 2016

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New Research Shows Fructose Alters Brain Genes, Can Lead to Disease

A new study by researchers at UCLA reveals that genes in the brain can be damaged by fructose, leading to diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A range of diseases — from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and from Alzheimer’s disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — are linked to […]

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New Stem Cell Innovation Could Someday Help Treat Parkinson’s

March 17, 2016

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Stem Cell Innovation Could Treat Parkinson’s

A team of researchers from Rutgers and Stanford have created a new way to inject healthy human nerve cells into the brain that could someday help treat Parkinson’s disease and other devastating brain-related conditions that affect millions of people. The technology – a major innovation – involves converting adult tissue-derived stem cells into human neurons […]

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Yale Researchers Track How the Brain Routes Visual Signals

March 10, 2016

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Yale Scientists Track How Brain Routes Visual Signals

Newly published research from Yale’s Department of Neuroscience provides some clues to how cells in the visual cortex direct sensory information to different targets throughout the brain. Understanding how the brain manages to process the deluge of information about the outside world has been a daunting challenge. By imaging activity in the mouse brain, the […]

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Neuroscientists Discover a Behavioral State Gene That May be Linked to Autism

March 7, 2016

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Gene for Behavioral State May be Linked to Autism

In a newly published study, neuroscientists from MIT reeval a gene that plays a critical role in controlling the switch between alternative behavioral states – which for humans include hunger and fullness, or sleep and wakefulness. This gene, which the researchers dubbed vps-50, helps to regulate neuropeptides — tiny proteins that carry messages between neurons […]

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MIT Researchers Identify Cells That Represent Feelings of Isolation

February 16, 2016

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Researchers Identify Cells That Represent Feelings of Isolation

In a newly published study, MIT neuroscientists reveal how they identified a brain region that represents the feelings of loneliness. Humans, like all social animals, have a fundamental need for contact with others. This deeply ingrained instinct helps us to survive; it’s much easier to find food, shelter, and other necessities with a group than […]

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Scientists Characterize Nerve Cells That Detect Motion by Light Changes

February 8, 2016

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Neurobiologists Characterize Nerve Cells That Detect Motion by Light Changes

In a newly published study, neurobiologists from the Max Planck Institute reveal that (in fruit flies) four classes of nerve cell are involved in calculating directionally selective signals. The ability to see the direction in which something is moving is vital for survival. Only in this way is it possible to avoid predators, capture prey […]

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Neuroscientists Identify a Protein That Allows Brain Cells to Dampen Their Sensitivity

January 18, 2016

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Scientists Identify Protein That Allows Brain Cells to Dampen Their Sensitivity

In a newly published study, neuroscientists from MIT identify a protein that allows brain cells to dampen their sensitivity. Strengthening and weakening the connections between neurons, known as synapses, is vital to the brain’s development and everyday function. One way that neurons weaken their synapses is by swallowing up receptors on their surfaces that normally […]

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New Research Shows Hyperactive Neurons May Trigger Alzheimer’s

January 13, 2016

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Hyperactive neurons may be culprit in Alzheimer’s

New research from Yale University shows that an increase in neuronal activity can spur the creation of plaques and toxic amyloid beta peptides, which are believed to trigger Alzheimer’s disease. A long-term reduction in neuronal activity reduces amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, Yale University researchers have found. The study, using mouse models of Alzheimer’s, […]

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Study Shows Amateur Contact Sports Increase Risk of Degenerative Disorder

December 2, 2015

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Football Increases Risk of Degenerative Disorder

Past evidence has shown that professional football players are susceptible to a progressive degenerative disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is caused by repetitive brain trauma. Now a new study from the Mayo Clinic reveals a significant and surprising amount of CTE in males who had participated in amateur contact sports in their youth. About […]

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Neuroscientists Identify New Mechanism That Contributes to Strengthening Synapses

November 18, 2015

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Newly Identified Mechanism Helps Strengthen Links between Neurons

Neuroscientists from MIT have identified a new mechanism that allows the brain to strengthen links between neurons. When the brain forms memories or learns a new task, it encodes the new information by tuning connections between neurons. MIT neuroscientists have discovered a novel mechanism that contributes to the strengthening of these connections, also called synapses. […]

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Neurons Can Be Changed from One Type Into Another from Within the Brain

November 10, 2015

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Researchers Reprogram Neurons

A newly published study from Harvard biologists shows how neurons can be dramatically changed from one type into another from within the brain and how neighboring neurons recognize the reprogrammed cells as different and adapt by changing how they communicate with them. Building on earlier work in which they disproved neurobiology dogma by “reprogramming” neurons […]

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Neuroscientists Observe Signs of Synaptic Plasticity Emerging in a Living Brain

November 3, 2015

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Researchers Observe Signs of Synaptic Plasticity Emerging in a Living Brain

Using measurements of changes in neural activity in neurons of the inferior temporal cortex of mature nonhuman primates as they observed novel and familiar stimuli, neuroscientists have observed signs of synaptic plasticity emerging in a living brain while it accomplishes the feat of beholding and recognizing stimuli. From the first project David Sheinberg took on […]

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Neuroscientists Reveal That the Ventral Pre-Arcuate Holds “Attentional Template”

October 29, 2015

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MIT Neuroscientists Identify Brain Region That Holds Objects in Memory

Neuroscientists from MIT have identified the region of the brain that holds objects in memory until they are spotted. Imagine you are looking for your wallet on a cluttered desk. As you scan the area, you hold in your mind a mental picture of what your wallet looks like. MIT neuroscientists have now identified a […]

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GDF10 Promotes Brain Cells’ Ability to Form New Connections

October 28, 2015

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New Discovery Could Lead to Better Recovery After Stroke

Scientists from UCLA have identified a molecule (GDF10) that signals brain tissue to form new connections after a stroke. The finding could eventually lead to a new treatment to promote brain repair and functional recovery in people who have suffered a stroke, which is the leading cause of serious long-term disability in adults. The five-year […]

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Rare ALK Genetic Mutation Extends Cancer Survival

October 15, 2015

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Rare Genetic Mutation Extends Cancer Survival

A new study from Yale University reveals that patients with the rare ALK mutation are living an average of four years, compared to typical patients that die of NSCLC within seven months. Most patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has metastasized to the brain have a dire prognosis. But Yale researchers have identified […]

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